Jerry Partain: Kung-fu-phooey

| September 14, 2012

AverageNCO sent us a link to this wonderful article about a true American hero, Jerry Partain. He says he retired from the Marines and that he’s one of the greatest ninjas of all time;

The 66-year-old Partain, who retired in 1992 after 25 years in the Marine Corps, and then retired again from the brokerage business about 10 years ago, is something of a “secret gem” from the martial arts world in Alexandria.

“Contrary to wide perception from TV or the movies, it’s not just punch-kick-block,” said Partain, who served four tours in Vietnam, including 31 days as a prisoner of war, retired from the Marines as a major.

Yeah, well, since we’re featuring him here on TAH, you probably already know what the upshot is going to be;

Here’s the “limited” information that folks at the NPRC had to work with, just a name and a social security number;

It’s rare that we get one who has no military service at all, but here’s one. His name is all over the internet as some sort of master kung-fu dude, so, if I was going to have him teach me any of that stuff, I’d vet every single word he says if he thinks he can get away with being a Marine major with 24 years and he hasn’t ever seen the inside of a steel pot.

Category: Phony soldiers

Comments (82)

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  1. Green Thumb says:

    My comments speak for themselves.

  2. Green Thumb says:

    In a flurry of kicks and chops, the “Kung-Fu Phony” worked his way up to the top of the martial art world….

    But alas, he became bored. A challenge he needed so he decided to sell used cars in the inner-city.

  3. A Proud Infidel says:

    What’s his Black Belt in, Chop Suey or Egg Foo Yung?

  4. Gren Thumb says:

    The only belt he has is the one he removes before he bends over….

  5. Green Thumb says:

    My bad.

    To many beers.

  6. KnowsAllAbout JP says:

    As someone who is a formerly interested party in Jerry Partain, I’ve known him since 1962, I was shocked and amused by the lies he is perpetuating. He was born in 1950, in 1964 we were in the 8th grade in San Diego, CA. Yes, he did start karate in 1960, at age 10. He graduated from James Madison High School in 1968, San Diego, CA. He NEVER was in the Marines, went to VietNam or any other military service. He used to say he was a federal agent, a narc, a hit man, etc, etc. The man is a narcissitic, compulsive liar who has always had delusions of grandeur. Not only that, but he is a dead beat dad, who has 2 families. I could go on and on, but he’s not worth it. I wish there was some way to prosecute him for all the lies about the miitary service. It’s a slap in the face to all who have served honorably.

  7. Green Thumb says:


  8. Green Thumb says:

    Kung-Fu Pussy.

  9. Leigh says:

    I don’t know much about the above, but I can tell you what he did for my husband and I. We went to San Diego in 1979 to teach martial arts, but it was a gross miscalculation. We arrived on a gray hound bus with no money, no house, no food, no phone, no car etc. My husband knew Jerry from when he lived in San Diego in the 60’s. Jerry & his wife Desi found a house for us to live, fed us, let us use their truck & found a construction day job for us. We were homeless, jobless & hungry and for Jerry & Desi’ help I will always be grateful. I won’t say that stolen valor is honorable or even that he shouldn’t be called out on his statements, however, he couldn’t be all bad because of what he did for us. I can tell you that when he & Desi pulled up in our drive on their way to Colorado, I cried.

  10. Green Thumb says:


  11. Green Thumb says:


    Actually, if you still keep in touch with this poser, ask his punk, fake ass to come on here and explain himself.

    A true martial artist would.

  12. Leigh says:

    I have had no contact with him for over 32 years. Looking at the posts it sure seems like what he has told people about his life is not true. I’m not disputing everybody’s post, I’m only acknowledging how he helped 32 years ago. After reading these post I researched him a little more and found out he is (or was) living in Alexandria, LA and the local newspaper did a piece on him. They ran the piece before researching the facts, then has to run a retraction because his story didn’t fly. I don’t really know what would make a person tell all of these lies. His ex wife’s could probably tell more.

  13. Leigh says:

    Jerry, if you are reading these post please respond. Prove that what people are saying about you is either true or not true. The web is a very powerful tool for people to find things out. If you have lied to the above people, state the truth and move on. You can’t escape the web. Just look at me. I haven’t seen or spoke to you in over 32 years, but I typed your name into Google and find all of this crap. Very sad.

  14. Green Thumb says:

    All the lyrics for all your favorite artists!

    Send “Kung Fu Fighting” Ringtone to your Cell
    Click Here to add Lyrics On Demand to your Favorites!

    # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Lyrics Browse Genres: Country | Hip Hop | Rock |Oldies |Soundtracks

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    For you Jerry:

    Everybody was kung-fu fighting
    Those cats were fast as lightning
    In fact it was a little bit frightning
    But they fought with expert timing

    They were funky China men from funky Chinatown
    They were chopping them up and they were chopping them down
    It’s an ancient Chineese art and everybody knew their part
    From a feint into a slip, and kicking from the hip

    Everybody was kung-fu fighting
    Those cats were fast as lightning
    In fact it was a little bit frightning
    But they fought with expert timing

    There was funky Billy Chin and little Sammy Chung
    He said here comes the big boss, lets get it on
    We took a bow and made a stand, started swinging with the hand
    The sudden motion made me skip now we’re into a brand knew trip

    Everybody was kung-fu fighting
    Those cats were fast as lightning
    In fact it was a little bit frightning
    But they did it with expert timing


  15. Bullshit proof says:

    It’s amazing how Wikipedia & google can inspire the imagination…
    At least he isn’t in federal contracting…right?

  16. johnq says:

    I knew Jerry many many years ago, it’s sad to hear he has gone so far astray from the very principles he valued. There is no excusing the claims he’s made about a military career, record, perhpas he felt so guilty that he was not one of the guys he hung out with or admired who did take the call and serve. He was a chanpion wrestler in high school, and a dedicated martial artist in those early years. I saw him years after high school in a bar where I worked with several other old friends and he appeared to be doing quite well, he was not nor had he served. I can not speak for any of the rest of the stories that are told or his account. I also attended the San Diego Judo & JuJistsu school in PB, under Al Holtman who held black belts, in aikido, judo and jujitusu, he had no use for “karate men” he would say, and he did not allow it at his school at this time. He was an honorable man, smoked god awlful cigars off training hours, played his opera music loud. I never saw Jerry at the school during the time I was there. The school years later, and Mr. Holtman continued with his second school on San Diego blvd by SD State, where he continued to teach. I visited him there one time thanked him and never saw him again. He reserved judgement, and when he voiced an opinion it was usually blunt and to the point but not overly hurtful. It’s sad to see Jerry has drifted away, and adopted what he wanted to be not what he was. It’s a shame for him and an affront to all who served, and it negates the career in the martial arts he’s chosen for 40 yrs.a

  17. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Martial artist. That’s fighting. Charges fees. That’s contracting for a service. Been doing it a long time. That means he’s a veteran. Hey, he’s a combat veteran!

  18. Green Thumb says:


    Maybe he should fight “Ranger” Burrell.

  19. ghp95134 says:

    The martial artist part of me wishes to respond.

    Background: I’ve been involved in iaido (Japanese swordsmanship) since 1970; specifically Mugai Ryu (1970-73), Toyama Ryu (since 1983 ~ 2005), and Nakamura Ryu in Japan, directly under Nakamura Taizauburo (1990 ~ 2005). I have a 7th dan ranking and a renshi teaching license.

    I want to know why a 2nd degree black belt (his last mentioned rank) was awarded a renshi license by Fusei Kisei sensei (who is legitimate). And if he did in fact receive Renshi, why is calling himself “Hanshi”? In kendo and other fencing schools, a 5th degree is eligible to take the renshi exam.

    Most traditional arts that use the renshi-kyoshi-hanshi “shogo” licensing system set time-in-grade and specified minimum ranks. Generally most of those traditions (but not all) have a similar program:

    Renshi. 5~6th dan. Instructor License
    Kyoshi. 7~8th dan. Teacher License
    Hanshi. 8th ~ 10th dan. Master License. Minimum age about 70 years old

    Wiki: “Shogo system awarding Renshi, Kyoshi, Hanshi, against suitability as a role model to some members of the Kodansha ranks of 6th, 7th and 8th dan. Renshi and Kyoshi are awarded on written examination and Hanshi by election. There is some debate amongst some kendoka about the fairness of the Kyoshi test which โ€” unlike the equivalent for Renshi โ€” must be written in Japanese….”

    For renshi, I had to take a written examination … in Japanese.

    So, I’m just wondering if he was awarded Renshi … then why is he calling himself “Hanshi”????

    And … no one — NO ONE — uses the shogo title (i.e., “Hanshi”) when talking to a teacher (much less refering to oneself by the license)! My teacher was hanshi 10th dan (battodo & jukendo; “only” 7th dan kyoshi in kendo) — a well-known swordsman; yet, we called him “sensei.”


  20. SadDecisions says:

    Sad to see what this site has to say about Jerry. Doesn’t seem like anyone has any information to back up Jerry’s claims.

    I live in the Alexadria, LA area and am good friends with a student of Jerry’s. The guy looks up Jerry to an extreme degree, and, if the stories were true, it would be understandable. He has been under Jerry’s wing for over 10 years … this is all sad to hear.

    Wonder how I should present this to my friend … ? ๐Ÿ™

  21. Leigh says:

    To Sad Decisions, tell your friend to Google Jerry Partain. By living in Alexandria, The Town Talk has probably corrected an article that was run saying what a great Veteran, Martial Artist, etc. Partain was. Only AFTER the article ran did the newspaper learned they were duped by Jerry. I doubt that he is still around Alexandria. It is so sad your friend was also duped. I, unlike most of the people who have commented here, have personally known him way back in 1979-80. It makes me sick to learn what kind of person he decided to be. Let there be no doubt that he made the decision to lie, cheat, steal veterans valor and say it was his own. Also, let there be no doubt he will continue doing the exact same thing as the last 40+years. Tell your friend to take the best and leave the rest, to wash his hands of Partain. There is a fantastic Sensei in or near Alexandria named Roy Osbourne and he is 100 percent legit.

  22. Green Thumb says:

    Loser this assclown is.

    But I will give credit where it is due.

    I love the Olympic Wrestling Champion claim.

    Just complete Awesomesauce!

  23. It is my understanding that for some years, Jerry Partain was the U.S. representative of Fusei Kise, a very real Okinawan karate man ( I have seen video of Partain training as a black belt in Kise’s school in Okinawa, and quality instructional material distributed by Partain with Kise’s blessings. Kise visited Partain at least a couple of his U.S. training schools. Partain has been cited by at least one very real and legitimate Okinawan trained karate man (American) as being, at some point in time, one of Kise head students. There are highly ranked and very legitimate karate men in the U.S. who have been trained by Partain and Kise both. The information revealed on this website about Partain is serious stuff and I cannot reconcile it at all with seems to be another side of the story. What’s up? I don’t get it. Mental illness?

  24. KnowsAllAboutJP says:

    Mental illness? Delusions of Grandeur, always had them, always will. @Leigh, Jerry’s wife was not Desi, that was his sister, Dez. JP has always loved the spotlight, attention and telling stories, unfortunately all embellished to glorify his over magnified ego. It will never end…Pathological liar.

  25. Leigh says:

    Surprised to hear that Desi was not his wife. In 1979 my husband and I went to Jerry & Desi’s home and there were 2 kids that lived that both Jerry & Desi. They called those children their kids. If Dez was his sister, that would mean:
    1. There was incest between Jerry & Desi
    2. The children were Jerry’s with no mother around
    3. The children were Desi’ and Jerry just said they were his
    4. The children were kidnapped and just called Jerry & Desi their parents
    Is there any possible way that you might not have known he was married to Desi OR Jerry just said Dez was his sister. At this point who really knows what is real or a lie. These post have made me go back in time and I thought about a really weird thing he did involving me. Jerry picked up my husband & I to go for coffee. As soon as we walked into the cafe Jerry started telling people there that I was a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader. I’m telling those people “no I’m not”, but he just kept on saying that to anyone who would listen. I was so embarrassed and once my husband and I were alone I asked why did he do that. My husband said he frequently “made crap up”.

    It is obvious that this guy has some real mental issues, but at this point who gives a flying flip. He is what he is and will continue to keep doing the same thing. Really, how sad to think that a persons whole life is a lie. We should really feel sorry for his children who at any time Google their fathers name and read that their father is a liar, fraud, cheat, loser. Feel bad for his students who thought Jerry hung the moon. It is just possible that most people, having been lied to, might be leery of people in general.

    Nothing about Jerry is going to change. He has been getting away with this crap since he was young. He has now been publicly outed. He will not have enough time left in this life to make it right.

  26. Green Thumb says:

    @75 and 76,


  27. Chris Foster says:

    I know Jerry Partain personally. He was my sensei’s teacher for a time & came to our dojo many times for seminars and classes. I can tell you with complete confidence that he is a fraud, fake, liar, & one of the worst people I have ever met. In the two years that he frequented our dojo he put two students in the hospital. Both times he injured them during a demonstration of technique. One suffered a broken arm. The other person was me. Jerry was explaining a move from a kata when he took my hand (I offered, as any student would) then he just did the move full speed & with full force. You could hear the bone in my hand crack from a hundred feet away. The fractured bone was shoved violently up inside my wrist. I have two screws holding it together even to this day. It is true that Jerry was part of Kise’s organization. He was promoted to 7th dan by Kise…never higher!! He is NOT a 9th dan. He was kicked out of Kise’s organization for embezzeling funds. He was promoting students to black belt & keeping the money that was supposed to go to Okinawa & then not reporting the ranks to Kise. I met the student that got him busted. He visited Okinawa & asked to sit in on a class. When he presented his menjo, Kise came out of the office demanding to know where he got it! The pictures of Kise & Partain together were taken at Jerry’s ONE trip to Okinawa, & from ONE of Kise’s trips to the states. He also showed up for most of his seminars & classes drunk. While it is true that he has trained in karate, EVERYTHING ELSE this piece of crap has ever said is a lie.

    • George Prince says:

      I was also a student at the same dojo as Chris and can attest to Partain injuring students, especially during his aikido classes. (By the way, Hey Chris, how is the family?) I can also attest to his showing up drunk at classes and seminars. He once bruised my right foot to the bone during a demonstration before a belt test. He had even gone as far as saying he knew Frank Dux and that he had knocked Chuck Norris out in 1968, in a match that he was DQ’ed for because of hitting Norris too hard. We had a doctor who also took at our dojo and had to convince JP to quit drinking as it was going to kill him, at that point Partain quit coming to dojo and started teaching at his house in Alexandria.

  28. Green Thumb says:

    Extra shitbag. (shout out to Average NCO)

    I had forgotten about this turd.